Engineering Students Give the Skinny on Internships

This summer four engineering students from historically black colleges and universities (HBCU) shared their work experiences with USBE‘s Gale Horton Gay. Over several weeks via e-mail, they discussed the benefits of internships.

Phine Ulysse graduated in May 2017 from Morgan State University with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. During the summer he was narrowing his options as a bridge engineer.

While in school, he worked at WBCM LLC in Towson, Maryland, as a bridge inspection intern during the summer of 2016 and winter of 2017. His internships entailed inspections of bridges and culverts, completing inspection reports, and helping with the reinforcement bars for one of Baltimore’s water facilities.

“When I first began taking my civil courses, well, even math and physics courses, although I understood the concepts well enough, it was not until joining the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Steel Bridge Team at Morgan State University, then interning at WBCM, did I get a chance to understand the application side of what I was learning in the classroom,” he said. “It was like completing the missing half of the knowledge I received in the classroom.”

‘On-the-job experience helps advance classroom progress’

For Ulysse, the on-the-job experience helped to advance his progress in classes when he returned to school.

“Interning definitely helped me understand so much of the information my professors were attempting to relay,” said Ulysse.

“After interning, I took Elementary Steel Design, which many students would agree is not a walk in the park. Because WBCM was patient with me when teaching me concepts foreign to me, I was able to get a jump start on the class.  I believe interning is beneficial to students interested in joining the workforce after graduation and for those looking to get the application understanding in their field down as well.”

Kiante Bush
graduated in December 2016 from Morgan State University with a…

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